10 Ways to Build Your Blog Readership


1. A Good Blog: Before you worry about taking over the world, you need to get the nuts and bolts of your blog figured out. Design, user friendliness, niche and content are the top things to consider. Your blog should be original and authentic– it’s the one place in the world that is all about YOU!

2. Commenting: When you first start blogging, there is simply no better way to build a readership. You have to put in your time and get out there– sometimes it’s fun and sometimes it’s not, but it’s an absolute must. Start with the blogrolls of blogs you like and then see who’s commenting there. The comments you leave are your calling cards, the more you scatter across blog-land, the more people will come back to visit you. {Read my tips for commenting}

3. Find your Tribe: Every blogger needs some good blogging buddies. These are the people who you can ask to tweet something for you or keep an eye on your blog while you’re away or comment on a post that isn’t getting any attention. Put each other on your blogrolls, subscribe to each other’s feeds and just be an over all support system. They’ll give you readers and you’ll give them readers. Everybody wins.

4. Guest Posting: Writing on someone else’s blog is a great way to expose yourself to a whole new audience. Ask your friends if they need a break or submit a post to a blogger you like. Your post should be one that you’ve never posted before and is representative of your blog. If it’s a good one, people will check your blog out and hopefully become your own readers.

5. Twitter: Twitter is a great tool to get people over to your blog, but nobody wants to follow someone who does nothing but promote themselves. Start a twitter account and build a following by engaging people. Promote yourself in one out of every ten or so tweets. More than that and you’ll turn people off. Title your posts well so that people are intrigued enough to click over. {Read my tips for Twitter}

6. Facebook: I worship Facebook. It consistently delivers me more traffic than any other single site. Why? Because  everyone is on it. Your high school BFF. Your former colleagues. Your mother. Your blog friends. There is no other way to easily access to all of those people at once. Incorporate Facebook on to your blog through “like” buttons and widgets. Once someone likes your post, it posts to their wall for all of their contacts to see- the reach is incomparable.

7. Contests: Many people look at contests for the pure traffic they provide, I look at them as a thank you to my readers. I never ask that people take more than one step to be entered, and I secure giveaways that I would want to win myself. Sure, the boost in traffic is nice, but I’m more concerned with getting people to become regular visitors.

8. Conferences/Meet-Ups: The more you get out there, (assuming you aren’t a total asshole,) the better your reputation will become. Pass out business cards, go up to strangers and get out of your comfort zone. This is your chance to make the avatars that live in your computer your friends, and to make strangers your readers. It doesn’t have to be a conference with thousands of people- meeting a few local bloggers for happy hour can be a start.

9. Accessibility: Answer emails, respond to comments with questions and don’t ignore twitter @’s. Be nice and be available. Gone are the days when I respond to every comment– there simply isn’t the time. I do, however, take the time to respond to every e-mail I receive or question that someone poses in my comments. It’s simply common courtesy.

10. Maintain your site: I’m constantly changing things around on my site– whether it’s the plug-ins I’m using or the layout or trying out a new type of post. I know that I get bored looking at the same thing everyday and figure other people do as well. Keep an eye on your comments- are people playing nice? If not, step in. It’s your blog and your job to keep it alive and growing.

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} 5 years ago

I’ve just started my blog, and I’ve read several “increase your traffic”, “get more comments”, etc. posts here and there. This is one of the most comprehensive and helpful. Thanks so much for putting this information out there for all of us, newbies, and veterans.

So glad I found your blog. It’s a fun place to hang. :)

Ryan (The Woven Moments) 5 years ago

So so helpful. Thank you! I’m always looking to build my readership. Particularly love the idea of giveaways as an exercise in gratitude. I’ve been toying with a giveaway on my blog. Nothing big. Keepin’ it simple.

Jenny 5 years ago

Good tips. And you have a really great blog.

Jesika 5 years ago

Gracias. I needed this. You are like my little birdy twittering all I need to know in my ear. It’s highly appreciated. I can barely make it through a day, let alone figure this stuff out alone. Good stuff here.


Katy 5 years ago

Thanks for the tips! I have just relaunched my blog and want to get more of a following. These are great!

Sarah@grownupnow 5 years ago

All these tips were EXTREMELY helpful. I started up a blog about a month ago, and I love it, but I really want to try and get a steady readership going so that I don’t feel like I’m blogging to myself all the time. How exactly does one go about finding local bloggers though?

    Scary Mommy 5 years ago

    Hmmmm… Local bloggers. I’m not so sure how exactly you would go about finding them. Where are you?

      Sarah@grownupnow 5 years ago

      Orlando, FL. I tried to see if there was a group or club, but I didn’t really come up with much. I even looked to see if UCF had a blogging/social media club, but I didn’t see anything.

        Scary Mommy 5 years ago

        I thought maybe I’d have some people for you, but I don’t. Sorry! I’d try joining some networks (Mom Bloggers Club, SITS) and seeing if you can find some like that. Good luck!

          Sarah@grownupnow 5 years ago

          SITS was a really really helpful suggestion. Thanks!

Giselle 5 years ago

I am new to your blog and already love it, thank you for all the info:)

Carly 5 years ago

Thanks so much for this! Your tips have been really helpful and timely.

Jaime 5 years ago

Aww man, Bloggy Bootcamp was in Philly and I missed it? What the funk?!

Thanks for writing this post so new bloggers (ahem) can figure out how to get someone, ANYONE, to pay attention to what they’re writing!

Sarah Hoffman 6 years ago

This is AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for your generosity, this post really is a public service. I have been blogging for over a year but I really am a Luddite, SO resistant and slow to learn technological things. But you’ve made things so simple…I so appreciate it.

stark. raving. mad. mommy sent me your way. I am loving your blog–content and design.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Erin 6 years ago

Just started this whole “blogging” business – find it rewarding and liberating – I LOVE writing and I am just starting to venture out and see how many quality blogs there are out there.

I must admit that you have become my “go to” blog – everyday I check you first – because you are the only person (other than one friend) who has ever commented on my blog – my followers are only family and friends, and while that is great – I would like to get feedback outside of the RL people.

I haven’t been able to “network” much yet. I have been commenting on some of the blogs that I enjoy the most. I find the technology slightly daunting – can’t seem to figure out the widgets and digits and gidgets..

I also keep getting lost in the “blogosphere” – I get overwhelmed at times with the sheer volume of infomation that is “out there.”

Anyway – after this extremely WORDY comment – I just want to say again – THANKS for all the information and I hope to get to know you better:) You have a GREAT blog!

Momalegal 6 years ago

Just found your blog, and I thank you so much for your tips! My blog is just starting out and I can use all the help I can get. :)

Afsana 6 years ago

Thanks so much for these tips! I never imagined that anyone would bother reading my blog, but now I know there is always a possibility!

Michelle 6 years ago

Great tips! I heard Philly Bloggy Boot Camp was great.

Torie 6 years ago

Thanks for the helpful hints. Marketing is one of my biggest concerns. I feel like I spend all my time trying to get my blog out there. I am going to use your tips.

heidi @ wonder woman wannabe 6 years ago

Great tips!
I linked to you today on my link love line-up.


tulpen 6 years ago

Dammit. I was thinking about attending a conference in the spring. But I’m a total ass hole, so… probably not a good idea.


Tiaras & Tantrums 6 years ago

here’s a question I have . . . what about when you switch platforms – I was on blogger and made the switch to squarespace – my readers PLUMMETED! and have yet to return! Literally overnight! It’s weird to me b/c my site is still THE SAME NAME AND URL!!!

    Scary Mommy 6 years ago

    I bet it’s because people subscribed through blogger and they aren’t seeing you update anymore. Even if it’s the same url, if it’s not on blogger, they aren’t seeing it. :( I had the same thing happen and it took a while to uild it back up- it sucks.

Baby Pickel 6 years ago

Glad to see that I’m following most of these rules! 😀 Woohoo!!

Minnesota Mamaleh 6 years ago

thanks much for the ready-to-use tips! btw, isn’t it funny how popular posts *about* blogging are? love that!!

Carla 6 years ago

Thanks for the great tips! As a new blogger, and new mom, I can use all the help I can get!

Loukia 6 years ago

You’re the best, Jill. Great post, as per usual. When is the book version coming out? :) xo

zeemaid 6 years ago

Love these tips. I find it hard to engage with people on twitter though because mostly what I see is self promotion or various site promotions. It still feels weird to me to jump into some random conversation… almost like butting into two people’s conversation. Still I try where it makes sense when I can.

I’ve never started a facebook page and the more I think about it, the more I think I need to do it.

Distracted Dadddy 6 years ago

I’m doing #2 right now. That came out wrong. I mean I’m commenting.

Great list Jill. You always offer sound advice.

Jenny 6 years ago

Is there anyone else out there trying to memorize Jill’s bloggy wisdom with an 18-month-old running amok?

    Sarah Trevino 6 years ago

    Not an 18 month old. Just a 3 year old and a 2 year old (not to mention the 37 year old, who makes the biggest mess of all)

pamtastic 6 years ago

From a new blogger…thanks! I think these tips will be helpful. Thinking of starting a FB fan page…hmmm…

Jodi 6 years ago

ps…I wish I could go to the blogger boot camp! All sold out! I am not too far away…..bummer.

Jodi 6 years ago

Thank you for the tips!! They are always so helpful. I admit, I am a lazy twitterer. It’s so hard to keep up with all those tweets. But I love me some FB! Have you had any luck with Flickr?

Mrs.Mayhem 6 years ago

Thanks for these tips. Your honesty and forthrightness are much appreciated.

I have been avoiding Twitter because it’s a little confusing, but I did just sign up yesterday. I was also under the impression that it was impossible to create a Facebook page without a real name attached. I’ll have to check it out further. Thanks!

Tanya 6 years ago

Jill, Thank you for the great tips. I have learnt so much from reading your blog!

Beth B 6 years ago

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this!! It came in perfect timing for me, although I must say I’ve already done some of the things you say “not” to do. ugh. Oh, well, we live and learn 😉

Again thanks so much for posting!!!

Melanie @ Finding Melanie 6 years ago

Great tips! Thank you so much for sharing! I will be putting them to use very soon! Ive blogged for a few years but mostly friends & family only read it. Im ready to branch out!

melissa 6 years ago

i love you.
i’m going to pour over every single one of your points.
because i’m so obviously doing something wrong. quite frankly, i have a rockin’ good blog and a smashing tribe.
but it’s not growing.
i’m stumped.
or maybe i just live in a fantasy world? sigh

MommyNaniBooboo 6 years ago

Yes, yes, and YES!
My blog is such a creative space for me, and I often forget about the “networking” part of it. But what good id it if no one sees it? Point is, we all want to make ripples in the world…
Thanks for the reminders!

The Flying Chalupa 6 years ago

I adore your blogging tips. Need to sit down and reread and incorporate – especially the Facebook page. It’s time I started living in the 21st century. Thank you, Jill!

Corine 6 years ago

Great post Jill.

I too am in LOVE with Facebook when it comes to increasing readership and sharing posts. Like you said EVERYONE is on Facebook.

Marinka 6 years ago

Even though I’ve been blogging for like a kazillion years, I still learn from your tips!

Great job!

subwow 6 years ago

Great tips! Thank you! Have fun at the boot camp. Go kick some ass! (as in “being awesome” and not in “being really mean to the boot campers”)

p.s. #1 is why I know I shouldn’t even sweat the low traffic. LOL. We do this because we love and/or need to do this right?

Lolli 6 years ago

Fabulous tips, Jill! I can’t wait to hear more in person next week! I completely agree with everything you said… They serve as a perfect reminder to me of the things that I should be doing more of everyday. Its hard to keep up with everything the busier I get!

Kerry 6 years ago

Awesome tips! networked blogs gets us tons of traffic too. definately one to look into. the tribe is SO important. if not for the business side but the friend and love side. :)

ZippyChix4 6 years ago

Thanks for the great tips. As newbies to blogging, we Zippy Chix are always pondering how to gain some readership. Some of the tips we are already doing, the others we will attempt to incorporate. Thanks for the great words of wisdom!

Kristin 6 years ago

Thank you SO much for this priceless information. I do have a question – you mentioned handing out business cards. I have been pondering the idea of creating a business card for my site, but I have no idea what to call myself. Should I just call myself “blogger” or “writer?”

Eddie 6 years ago

Thank you so much for your article – I just started a blog a week ago to keep me accountable in our homeschooling this year and I had no idea how to get things moving. Your generosity in sharing tips is appreciated.

A quick note: I do have a giveaway (Chocolate unit study, with a sweet treat included) up on my blog that ends Tuesday, with a series of other giveaway to follow (I’m clearing out the homeschool shelves!)

Mac 6 years ago

What a wonderful blog, and great advice. I was introduced to your site by Erika from Erika’s Kitchen. She shared this post on Face Book. I’m a new blogger and have to remind myself all the time to pace myself. I get excited about what I’m doing and want to get the word out, so I’m guilty of putting up too many “announcements” on twitter. I’ll work on that. Thanks for the advice. I’m happy to take it!! Constructive criticism is worthwhile…judgment from other bloggers isn’t. 😉 Appreciate what you are saying here. It’s helpful!! Have a wonderful day!

Annette 6 years ago

You really have great timing for me with this! Thank you. I have a facebook fan page “Manners Matter” word is spreading and I’m growing fans and interaction. I just didn’t think anyone was going to my blog. I installed a blog visitors counter and that has erased my doubt regarding my blog’s traffic;) thank you again for this!!

MentalMom 6 years ago

Oh Scary Mommy, I love that you are so naturally helpful. I recently finished reading your entire archive and have been following you and a handful of other mommy bloggers. I started reading them out of sheer insomnia and boredom, but came out of it inspired. I have started my own blog and hope that you can stop by to check it out some time. I admire your blog and welcome any criticism you may have to offer me about mine. I am certainly doing my best to keep your helpful tips in mind.

Kara 6 years ago

If I ever start a blog, it will be totally and completely thanks to you. You are the BEST.

DanniiBeauty 6 years ago

Fantastic tips! I am doing nearly all of your tips and they do work. I am still trying to find my feet around facebook, but I find the blogging comments – is the best way to connect to others, and I love twitter as well.

Cori 6 years ago

Thanks for the tips love it!!!!!

Megan 6 years ago

Such great tips! I follow a lot of them already but it’s always good to have a refresher and try something new, too! =)

Mandi 6 years ago

Love these tips! I’ll have to go back through and read the links!
And I am SO in agreement with #6! A lot of my traffic comes from Facebook. Most of them don’t comment but I am surprised often to find out people I know read my blog that I never thought even knew it existed!

Staci 6 years ago

I totally enjoyed the post. Mostly I just busted out laughing when I read “expose yourself” – it’s late and all I could picture in my head was some guy in a trench coat exposing himself on the street.
Forgive me, it’s late, I’m exhausted and my mind went to the gutter.
After I composed myself I did read the rest of the post. It was very helpful! Thanks for all the suggestions. Enjoy the rest of your Labor Day weekend!

Janis 6 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing these tips. I am just starting out, so I signed up on Twitter and recently created a FB Fan page (personally found it to be a royal pain!). You are such a great resource. Can’t wait to dig into your archives to learn more. Thanks again!

Chrissy MacCEO 6 years ago

Great tips – I really appreciate you sharing them especially because I had to miss Bloggy Boot Camp next weekend due to a family wedding.

Quick question for you–I have the FB like button installed on my posts but it shows up before you read my post. Do you recommend it go before or after your actual post? Same as the retweet?

Julie {Angry Julie Monday} 6 years ago

I heart Jill. Fourfectra 4-ever….I love the fun we’ve had at conferences. I’m totally jealous that three of the fourfecta will be in Philly…..I should send a flat Julie or something…

    Carabee 6 years ago

    You should totally send a flat Julie! It won’t be as good as the real thing, of course, but even a flat Julie is better than no Julie.

LZ 6 years ago

All great tips. I couldn’t agree more on your commenting and twitter tips. Nothing impresses me more than a new reader who really continues the conversation with a thoughtful comment. On the flip side, very little is worse than, ‘I’m a new follower. Visit me at Ididntreadyourpostatall.com.’

Dana 6 years ago

that as extremely helpful! I’m a new blogger and i am trying to figure the blogging world out. thanks!

Andrea 6 years ago

FANTASTIC TIPS! Great post. I love these words of wisdom and I’m definitely FOR most of them. Except Facebook — sorry, I avoid it like the plague. I am addicted to Twitter, though, which is how I found this post tonight, in fact! Sorry I won’t get to hear you speak, but thanks for sharing your concepts and ideas with us anyway!

Pooky 6 years ago

Thanks for this great post. I started blogging this week before which I’d never even read a blog. You offer really sound advice here. I’ll try to follow it. Thank you!

Sue 6 years ago

Your blog is so refreshing– who else is this helpful? I love it!

Brittany at Mommy Words 6 years ago

You are always right on Jill! I am still looking to find the right blogging buddy or bussies that are about at the same place as me….

anyone? anyone?

Awesome tips!

Jack 6 years ago

That is a great set of tips and organized really well. Would have been really useful to have had it around when I first started blogging. I especially like the Twitter tips.

Twitter sends me a fair amount of traffic, but that is primarily because I have worked hard to engage with others. If you don’t build relationships it is just useless.

rtcrita 6 years ago

Thanks for these tips! I have been reading up on how to get this “blog thing” done and done right, and what you say is the same things I have been figuring out and reading about. I just started recently, finally, after wanting to do this for a couple of years now. I’m in love with it already! It IS a lot of work, though, and I knew it would be. I love graphic arts and photograph, so designing the backgrounds and other things are fun for me. It’s a place where I can be creative in all the things I love: writing, photography, crafts, cooking, etc. How fun is that?!

The real L.A. love story. 6 years ago

i’ve been thinking about submitting a guest post ever since i stumbled upon your page some two weeks ago. i promise it will come!!!!

Pres. Kathy 6 years ago

Thanks for the wonderful tips!!

Life with Kaishon 6 years ago

I should totally come to the Philly bloggy boot camp! I mean, I live right outside of the city. : ( If I would have known you were going to be there I would have paid it SO much more attention! : ) I have a couple of shoots scheduled. Maybe I can rearrange! Meeting you would be a delight!

Thanks for your fabulous tips as always! Maybe I will write a fun guest post for you about taking pictures. Not that I am by any means an expert : ) Maybe I could get some people to look at their camera in a new way!

Crystal 6 years ago

Thank you for this post! I have been on the fence about whether or not to create a facebook page for my blog. Sounds like it is worth the effort, so I will have to get to work.

nicole 6 years ago

Great tips! Good to know I’m right on track!

drlori71 6 years ago

Great tips – thanks so much. Now go read my blog! 😉

Sarah @ Momalom 6 years ago

You totally rock the blogosphere, Jill. Bravo!

Nan 6 years ago

I can never decide whether I really want traffic or not :) Since I started blogging just to keep my family in touch with what the boys were up to, my site has evolved… and evolved again… and is about to evolve again into WHO KNOWS WHAT?!!

You are a genius of bloggy marketing. You know what you want your site to do, and you get it there. I bow to your awesomeness!

Sandra 6 years ago

Jill, you’re so generous to offer such wonderful insight. I’m just starting to think seriously about building my blog, and I find insight like this to be invaluable. Thanks so much. I’m certianly a loyal reader!

Yuliya 6 years ago

Jill, thanks to your help (you are the best!) I started a facebook page and now maybe I will learn how to twitterize as well.

Ann’s Rants 6 years ago

Bloggy Boot camp is smart to have you present this information.

Cool that they allow nudity.


Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) 6 years ago

That should say By not “but” …and I would have loved to see you in Philly. Maybe next year! Will you be at Type-A-Mom?

Rachel 6 years ago

You’re so awesome 😉
Love ya. Proud to be a part of your tribe or you’re a part of mine 😉 whateves xoxoxo

Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) 6 years ago

I love these tips! I also want to add that comparing stats from past months can be a huge confidence booster! But comparing this August to last August I have seen a huge difference! It takes time.

Tricia 6 years ago

Awesome tips, my dear. You are definitely an expert in this field :) I’m taking all the advice you’ll throw out!

Julie 6 years ago

Scary Mommy, you are awesome. Have learned so much from you about blogging. Thank you! :-)

Rene Foran 6 years ago

Great tips!
Especially about the commenting!
One really thoughtful/funny/well-timed comment will send traffic to your blog!
I am still searching for my tribe!!
Nomadic most likely :)


Cheryl 6 years ago

Jill, you’re adorable AND generous! 😉 So wish I could be there to see you talk these tips in person next week…am still grateful that I got to hear (and see!) you at BlogHer.

Here’s hoping for more mid-East coast Bloggy Boot Camps! Go get ’em, Gurl!

    Shayna 6 years ago

    Agree – adorable, generous and wish I could see you in person — in the meantime I am loving your wisdom!


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